Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ronald Searle's China Shop

In 1977, Ronald Searle published Zoodiac, a series of full-color illustrations, a different animal appearing on two facing pages for each sign of the zodiac. The illustrations were all created specifically for the book and are among the funniest and most technically-brilliant ever created by the artist. It could have been Searle's last word on the subject—but it wasn't.

More than twenty years later, Searle revisited the same territory—one full-color, full-page illustration of an animal for each sign of the zodiac—and the series appeared in Town and Country magazine. In the case of Taurus in the China Shop, we can now compare the original magazine art published in 1998 with an alternative version offered last month at Sotheby's London. The published version of the art has a more physically-active and more casually-dressed bull, a more concerned saleswoman, and a more varied collection of animal figures.
Ronald Searle, Taurus in the China Shop, 1998
Original art, Town and Country, 1999
http://www.ronaldsearle.co.uk/taurus.htm

Ronald Searle, Taurus, 1998
Alternative version to that in Town and Country, 1999
Ronald Searle
Sotheby's London
July 11, 2017 Lot 231
Unsold

Ronald Searle
Sotheby's London
July 11, 2017 Lot 231
Details and Cataloguing
Taurus, from Ronald Searle's Zoodiac, 1977:


Ronald Searle, Zoodiac, 1977, title page


Ronald Searle, Zoodiac, 1977, endpaper

Ronald Searle, Zoodiac, 1977, procession
Which version of  the 1998 illustration do you prefer?
Ronald Searle, Taurus in the China Shop, 1998
Original art, Town and Country, 1999
Ronald Searle, Taurus, 1998
Alternative or preliminary version to that in Town and Country, 1999

Note:  Attempted Bloggery is looking for submissions of published and unpublished original book and magazine illustrations by Ronald Searle and other New Yorker artists. Alternative or preliminary versions are especially welcome. You break it, you bought it.


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